[rescue] Yessssss!!

Skeezics Boondoggle skeezics at q7.com
Sat Dec 20 18:08:48 CST 2003

On Sun, 07 Dec 2003, Steve Hatle wrote:

> Please advise when you are on-line and we can all have login shells! You
> should be able to support the whole list population, I'm thinking! <grin>

"The Plan" is to do something fun/interesting/unique that will attract
enough participants and donations to help defray the operating costs.  So
it may not be shell accounts, but it could be something like a massively
multi-threaded, distributed, *extensible* MUD-like on-line experience.  

Can't remember if I've shared this with the list or with some individuals
off-list, but that's sort of the goal.  Build something out of all these
old SuperSPARCs that can support several thousand simultaneous logins.  
It'd be text based (at first, anyway) and I know that a pile of old
sun4d's can handle what I have in mind. :-)

I'd just need ~1,000 friends and patrons to chip in $1/mo to pay the power
bill... the first LPMud I helped set up (over 10 years ago, and still
going) was never advertised, and just from word-of-mouth attracted over
25,000 players over the years.  And on-line games nowadays attract 10's or
even 100's of thousands of players.  So I figure I have a shot, if things
work out as planned.  Being able to play with these great big old machines
and let others enjoy 'em would be a blast.

So, yes, definitely I plan to have these machines online and accessible
and not just gathering dust somewhere.  I'm even in discussions with the
building about eventually moving these into a "glass house" at street
level - and opening a cybercafe.  (There's an empty restaurant space AND a
corner suite available that would be perfect.)  You could drop in, have
some coffee and a sandwich, check your email, and log into the game - and
*see* the big dogs behind the glass... with a little lighting those big
black cabinets with bright red tops can look pretty dramatic!  (Sure, it's
gimicky, since any modern hardware could probably blow the doors off this
thing, but everyone needs a hook, right?  Just nobody look behind the
curtain, where the E450 running the game engine actually lives. :-)

That's *way* down the road, of course.  But why not think big?

And Bill Bradford chimed in:
> Did you get the sbus interface card and cable with this one?

Yes!  The SSP, original cabling, docs, software, etc.  The machine had
been decommissioned just three months ago; had 186 days of continuous
uptime prior to that.  So it's a complete, working system. :-)  My other
one is too, but is short on power supplies - I can only comfortably run
two or three out of my seven system boards at once.

> Bastard.. save some Crays for the rest of us. 8-)

I'm still nagging the folks at Centurian (who had advertised a huge batch
of 13 machines a while back) to part out a couple... although, if I could,
I'd buy the whole damned lot. :-)  I figured if their rough inventory was
correct, I could put 8 full 64-way systems together and have 5 spare
cabinets for extra blowers, backplanes, and most importantly power
supplies and control boards - things that would be impossible to replace.  

And if the numbers I've heard are correct, that only ~200 machines were
built and sold, then I could have 8% of the world's total output of
CS6400s.  That would be just slightly insane. :-)

Now, to track down some old Myrinet Sbus cards...

-- Chris

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